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Plea in SC seeks disqualification of management of Bihar Cricket Association

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New Delhi, Apr 18 (PTI) A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking disqualification of the Bihar /RCricket Association (BCA) management, alleging that it has not been complying with the apex court's directions. The application filed by BCA's rival, Cricket Association of Bihar (CAB), on whose petition large scale reforms have been ordered and monitored by the apex court in the BCCI, submitted that BCA secretary Rabi Shankar Prasad Singh has been holding the office for over 10 years in violation of the apex court's 2018 order. The top court had on August 9, 2018 held that the office bearers in state associations and the BCCI can only hold office for six consecutive years. The CAB plea, filed through its secretary Aditya Kumar Varma, has sought punishing the BCA's management committee under provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act saying that holding office for 12 years was not only contemptuous but also violative of the apex court's judgment. Singh was holding the post of treasurer from 2008 to 2015 after which he was elected as the honorary secretary. That term also expired on September 23, 2018, it said, adding he has continued on the post till date. The plea alleged that the present office bearers of BCA had allowed certain players outside Bihar to represent the state in domestic tournaments like Ranji Trophy after receiving bribe which goes up to Rs 75 lakh in some cases. Meanwhile, a separate application has been filed in the apex court by a Delhi-based woman seeking a direction to BCCI ombudsman to call for report of the committee which gave clean chit to the board's CEO Rahul Johri on allegations of sexual harassment. The court should direct the ombudsman, Justice (retd) D K Jain, to look into the allegations of sexual harassment which were levelled against Johri during his stint at the BCCI and earlier organisations where he had worked, the application said. Johri should be relieved from his post so that a "fair inspection" may be carried out on these allegations, it said. The application said the court should call for records of deposition and report of the committee which had given a clean chit to him to see whether "his discharge was correct". A three-member probe committee, set up by the Committee of Administrators (CoA), headed by retired Justice Rakesh Sharma, had earlier cleared Johri of sexual harassment allegations levelled by at least two women in November last year. The CoA had on November 21 last year cleared Johri of sexual harassment allegations and dismissed the charges levelled by at least two women as "mischievous and fabricated". "The allegations of sexual harassment in the office or elsewhere are false, baseless and have been fabricated and manufactured with an ulterior motive to harm Mr. Rahul Johri...," the probe committee had stated in its findings. The three-member probe panel also comprised former Delhi Commission of Women chairperson Barkha Singh and lawyer-activist Veena Gowda. Gowda recommended counselling for Johri owing to his "inappropriate behaviour" with one of the complainants during the Champions Trophy in Birmingham. The two-member CoA was divided on the issue. While Chairman Vinod Rai approved of Johri joining back, Diana Edulji demanded his resignation on the basis of some recommendations, including counselling. PTI URD ABA SJK RKS SA

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